As 2018 comes to to a close, we are excited to celebrate all of the memorable moments from the past year that have had an impact for both our participants and program. 2018 was a big year for Fútbol Sin Fronteras in part due to the incredible support from our community of friends, ambassadors, volunteers, and supporters, dedicated to supporting opportunities for women and girls.
In January, FSF hosted our 11th annual TEAM Camp. We were joined by 16 volunteers who also competed in 2 matches against the Women’s National Team.
WSC Fellows Katie Pettit, Dani Weatherholt, and Brittany Williams and coaches Lisbeth Calderon and César Morales traveled to Bluefields to facilitate our first Women’s Sports Corps Camp for nearly 100 girls in Pearl Lagoon and surrounding communities. The event was done in collaboration with local organization FADCANIC and with support from the U.S. Embassy.
In March, FSF earned a place in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund, securing additional funding and raising more than $13,300 from 519 supporters in the process.
Also in March, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the program with an enormous celebration on Calle Santa Lucia complete with games, food, and a zumbathon in front of Tres Pisos. Penn State University Women’s Team joined us for the 10th Anniversary celebrations and competed against the National Team to promote International Women’s Day.
In September, 18 teams participated in La Copa de la Paz and we again marked International Day of the Girl with our ‘Carrera de la Niña’ road race in October.
FSF moved from 3 floors to 2, relocating to a new office space just a few doors down.
We began offering basic hygiene and household items as well as rice and beans in the FSF bodega. This change came about as a result of a series of surveys and interviews conducted to better understand the impact of the current sociopolitical situation on FSF families.
In April, Reyna and Valeria, sisters and long-time FSF participants again participated as part of the U17 National Team and took the field during the CONCACAF U17 Championships.
Over the course of 2018, 275 girls in Granada regularly participated in FSF which offered 2,600 hours of programming through more than 1,000 events.
More than 2,300 additional youth were reached through events hosted by FSF including camps, clinics, leagues, tournaments, school visits, and more.
Education & Scholarship Program:
This year, FSF awarded 31 scholarships to participants to participants attending primary school, high school, and university.
In 2018, we also provided additional assistance to our extension program in La Villa, supporting girls in their transition to and enrollment in secondary school.
School Development Program:
FSF staff visited 12 schools in Granada, reaching more than 1200 girls through clinics and physical education classes.
In April-May, FSF facilitated ‘La Liga Escolar’ for the second year in a row. This year, 10 teams participated, each representing their secondary school.
FSF Leadership Program:
Kimberly, Alison, Stefhany, Alexa, Mileydi, Martha, Carolina, and Katherine were each selected to join the ‘Grupo de Liderazgo’. As a part of their final project, the leaders designed and organized an internal league for Las Leonas and Villa Maravillas.
In 2019, our Leadership Group will have a significant role in the coordination of TEAM Camp where they will serve as Assistant Coaches.
Rosa Urbina and Francisca ‘Pancha’ Alvarez, recent graduates FSF and former participants in the Leadership Program, came on board as staff members! Rosa and Pancha are both working as Head Coaches working with Las Ovejitas (ages 4-6) and FC Arcoiris (ages 6-10) respectively.
While 2018 has been a year full of milestones and growth for FSF, it has also been a challenging year for Nicaragua as the ongoing sociopolitical situation continues to impact families through the country. In facing these challenges our team of staff and coaches has continued to provide consistent access to safe spaces as well as regular on and off field programming.
We have some big goals for the coming year, as we plan to strengthen our programming in La Villa and at our central program as well as continue to bring more girls into the FSF community. In 2019, we will be focusing our expansion efforts to include girls and young women from communities surrounding the city of Granada.
The developments from the past year and plans for continued growth in 2019, are a direct result of the dedication and hard work from our participants, current and former staff members, fellows, volunteers, ambassadors, and supporters through the years. Each of you has been an invaluable part of the FSF story and strengthened our ability to serve girls and women in Nicaragua. Thank you for being a part of our family!
The FSF Team